Borough Prez Sets Agenda
By John McLoughlin
Several Rockaway-related issues were addressed by Borough President Claire Shulman during her 45-minute State-of-the-Borough speech on Monday, January 31. From new housing development on the peninsula to Destination Technodome, Shulman said these plans will "revitalize the Rockaways."
Projects on this year's agenda for the Borough of Queens, and specifically Rockaway, include the first phase of a new housing development in Arverne, between Beach 59 and Beach 61 streets. Known as Water's Edge, construction of the two-family homes is expected to be completed by late 2000.
To make the homes more affordable, Shulman is providing a total of $2.2 million in discretionary city capital budget funds, which will be used to make the necessary infrastructure improvements, including repaved streets and new sidewalks.
At a press conference in September 1999, Shulman said that these new homes "are part of the Rockaway renaissance we will see in the next millennium."
Shulman also announced in the State-of-the-Borough that the Joseph P. Addabbo Health Center, presently located on Beach 69 street and Rockaway Beach boulevard, will have a new facility, planned for the vacant lot between Beach 61-62 streets on Beach Channel drive.
According to Dr. Peter Nelson, executive director of Addabbo Health Center, local officials have "pledged to make this project a reality." Potential funding sources include the HOPE VI grant, Congressman Gregory Meeks, Councilwoman Juanita Watkins, and Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd-Cummings.
Within the next few months, Dr. Nelson will be organizing a capital funds campaign. "We hope the community will make some contributions to this project," said Dr. Nelson. Dr. Nelson said that residents and business owners interested in serving on the committee, which will seek these funds, should contact him at the center.
Destination Techodome, the largest project slated for Rockaway, was a key part of Shulman's speech on land use and economic development. Shulman projected that the $1 billion high-tech, family oriented indoor sports/interactive entertainment center, hotel and convention center would attract $15.1 million people each year, generating $990 million in revenues annually.
Shulman announced that the developer has been given "conditional site control" of the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, which means the city will not commit to any other development on the property until all pending issues are resolved. The developers need to show further financial commitment to the project and the city and state have to supply funding for infrastructure and access improvements to advance the project.